The Acting Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Mr. Wale Adeniyi, has provided clarification regarding the reopening of land borders in Nigeria. He stated that the federal government has not issued an order to reopen all land borders, contrary to unverified news circulating on social media platforms and news channels.
During a press briefing after meeting with President Bola Tinubu at the State House in Abuja, Adeniyi emphasized that the borders not included in the five strategically selected borders reopened in 2022 still remain closed. However, he noted that a thorough review of the situation is currently underway.
Adeniyi explained, “The borders were completely shut down from 2018 until 2022 when some selected strategic borders were reopened. That is the current situation. There are ongoing processes to review this situation in line with the objective of the border closure. Once the borders are reopened, it will be announced officially and not subject to rumors.”
In an effort to enhance border security and regional integration, Adeniyi revealed his plan to visit the Republic of Benin within the next week. The purpose of the visit is to engage in discussions with their Customs Administration, fostering collaboration, addressing border security concerns, facilitating importation across the border, and exploring technological solutions to complex border challenges.
Responding to the issue of fuel smuggling despite the removal of fuel subsidies, the Acting Comptroller-General acknowledged that complete eradication may take time. While some border areas have reported fuel seizures, the rate of smuggling has significantly reduced. Adeniyi expressed hope that ongoing government policies would eventually eliminate fuel smuggling across borders.
During his meeting with President Tinubu, Adeniyi engaged in constructive discussions about the role of Customs in revenue generation, enforcement strategies, and promoting port efficiency and competitiveness.
Although no specific instructions were given during the meeting, Adeniyi highlighted the alignment of Customs’ activities with the objectives outlined in the Presidential Advisory Council (PAC) documents. These objectives include making ports user-friendly, decongesting ports, ensuring 48-hour clearance of goods, and fostering export-led economic development.
The Nigerian Customs Service continues to review the border closure situation and remains committed to collaborating with other government agencies to achieve the goals set out in the PAC documents, thereby benefitting the Nigerian economy.